As we continue our January adventure through the Niagara Icewine Festival, the final event to wrap everything up was held at the Niagara Falls Scotiabank Conference Centre. They transformed the SCC into a Winter Wonderland for this 3 day event hosted by more than 20+ wineries, live music, and local food vendors.
The great part about this particular event - it’s not only showcasing icewine, but also red and white vintages as well. There is so much to sample. When you purchased your General Admission ticket you recieved access to 3 hours of red wine, white wine and icewine samples from over 15 wineries, a Commemorative Tasting Glass and the Entertainment. We opted for the VIP Admission which gave you an early entry with an extra hour of tastings. If you wanted to sample the food though, they were selling 6 tokens for $30.
When we arrived, we checked our coats, and made our way to pick up our tasting glasses and commemorative gift, and what better way to start off the evening but with some sparkling wine! The first booth we saw was Vieni Estates, pouring one of our favourites, “2013 Momenti”, this is a blend of Vidal and Pinot Grigio. This sparkling wine has both fruity and floral notes that balance it out perfectly. This past year has really gotten us interested in Sparkling wines... bring on the bubbles!!
We then made our way to Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery pouring “2013 Flamboyant Red from her Fancy Farm Girl series. This dry, medium bodied red was 60% Merlot, blended with Cabernet. This wine would complement medium bodied cheeses and milk chocolate wonderfully. Mmm chocolate (that brings us into February's event, Days of Wine & Chocolate)
We arrived on Friday, opening night, and the live music entertainment was “Desire U2 Tribute”. This band had the place rocking with classic U2 favourites. It wasn’t long - before people were up dancing and enjoying the evening. Saturday afternoon entertainment was Flat Broke and Jonesy in the evening. Sunday's entertainmnet was Sandy Vine & the Midnights. From what we heard, each had the place rocking!
One of the wines that caught our attention was from Trius Estate Winery; they were pouring their “2014 Trius Merlot”. This fruit-forward, medium bodied red wine is just perfect for sipping on its own, or complemented with some light cheeses or burgers on the bbq.
As always, when we are enjoying red wines, we like to look for a full-bodied wine. When we sampled the “2011 Dean’s List Meritage” from Niagara College Teaching Winery, we were not disappointed. This vintage was a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was outstanding, full-bodied with balanced tannins and aromas of spice and smokiness. Having never visited the winery, we gathered up some information about the winery, and will feature it sometime over this season.
There were many food options to sample as well. As we said earlier, tokens needed to be purchased to sample food however, its a reasonable cost to sample some of the best cuisine from all over Canada. Vendors came from as far as the East Coast and British Columbia as well as Ontario and Quebec. There was something to satisfy anyones taste. A special thank you to EJ for the complimentary food tokens.
All in all, this event was a great way to finish off our three weekend January excursions of the Niagara Icewine Festival, and we can't wait to do it again next year.
Til next time, have a great day, and great wine.